View Full Version : Is This For Real? (Anthropology or Genetics, take your pick)

The Mad Monk
08-03-2006, 04:50:21
No, seriously. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=379134&in_page_id=1770)

The time-warp family who walk on all fours
by BEN FARMER, Daily Mail 08:31am 7th March 2006


An extraordinary family who walk on all fours are being hailed as the breakthrough discovery which could shed light on the moment Man first stood upright.

Scientists believe that the five brothers and sisters found in Turkey could hold unique insights into human evolution.

The Kurdish siblings, aged between 18 and 34 and from the rural south, 'bear crawl' on their feet and palms.

Study of the five has shown the astonishing behaviour is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise.

Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement.

And it could provide invaluable information on how humans evolved from a four-legged hominid into a creature walking on two feet.

Two of the daughters and a son have only ever walked on two palms and two feet, but another son and daughter sometimes manage to walk upright.

The five can stand upright, but only for a short time, with both knees and head flexed.

Their remarkable story is told in a television documentary, to be screened next week, which shows scientists studying their movement, but also their struggle to fit in with modern society.

Professor Nicholas Humphrey, evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, visited the family twice. He said: "It's amazing as an example of a strange, strange aberration of human development. But their interest is how they can live in the modern world."

The five are all mentally retarded. Their mother and father, who are closely related are believed to have handed down a unique combination of genes which result in the behaviour.

Some researchers argue the genetic fault has caused the brothers and sisters to regress to a form of 'backward evolution'. Others believe it has led to brain damage which has allowed them to develop the walk.

Rather than walking on their knuckles, like gorillas or chimpanzees, they walk on the palms of their hands, with their fingers spread upwards.

Scientists believe this may be the way hominids moved to protect their fingers for more delicate movements.

Prof Humphrey said he thought the family had reverted to an instinctive form of behaviour encoded deep in the brain but abandoned during evolution.

He said: "I do not think they were destined to be quadrupeds by their genes, but their unique genetic make-up allowed them to be.

'It has produced an extraordinary window on our past. It is physically possible, which no one would have guessed from the modern human skeleton."

Study of their hands has shown they are heavily callused and have been walking like this for years.

Prof Humphrey said: "However they arrived at this point, we have adult human beings walking like ancestors several million years ago."

The five siblings spend most of their time sitting outside the family's basic rural home.

However, one brother travels to the local village where he engages in basic interactions with people.

The documentary, to be shown on BBC2 on Friday, March 17, is called The Family That Walks On All Fours.

This story first appeared in the . For more stories like this, buy the Daily Mail every day. Plus, to get the paper delivered to your home click here.

Comment? What comment could I possibly make?

08-03-2006, 05:09:31
"The five are all mentally retarded."

Ooooh, mow you do suprise me.

08-03-2006, 05:11:50
It's a good thing they're fully dressed and wearing shoes.

08-03-2006, 05:31:13
In the future all people will walk on all fours, and be retarded.

In Turkey anyway.

08-03-2006, 08:26:50
I bet they mate doggy style.

08-03-2006, 10:10:46

08-03-2006, 11:09:15
I think all women should walk that way.

Provost Harrison
08-03-2006, 11:46:24
Originally posted by shagnasty
"The five are all mentally retarded."

Ooooh, mow you do suprise me.

I was thinking the same thing :lol: Yeah, they could be part of the 'missing link' between man and ape...alternatively, they could just be utter freaks ;)

08-03-2006, 11:57:35
Maybe they should go on display in Alabama as a deterrent on what inbreeding will do to you in the long term.

Provost Harrison
08-03-2006, 11:57:55

08-03-2006, 12:00:09
Originally posted by Drekkus
I think all women should walk that way. hey look.......mrs drekkus is on msn.

08-03-2006, 13:36:44
Originally posted by Drekkus
Maybe they should go on display in Alabama as a deterrent on what inbreeding will do to you in the long term.

Or West Virginia.

08-03-2006, 14:17:18
i'm sure zmama was not on all fours when i met her

after that i can't vouch for

08-03-2006, 14:21:31
Suffering from Selfbiased disease?

08-03-2006, 17:01:51
They are the future of mankind. Kind of like dolphins.

08-03-2006, 17:19:02
Originally posted by Drekkus
Maybe they should go on display in Alabama as a deterrent on what inbreeding will do to you in the long term.


I thought that was what George Bush and Howard Dean was for. ;)

08-03-2006, 17:20:48
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
i'm sure zmama was not on all fours when i met her

after that i can't vouch for

She doesn't count. She's not from WV.

And it sounds like you did your own fair share of 4 legged walking. ;)

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
08-03-2006, 20:59:36
Oh God no, Not a serious reply.


Last Friday I swung by the NIH and pulled a few
studies in order to test my hypothesis that the
UnerTan syndrome is the disequilibrium syndrome. [1]
Most of the symptoms of the two line up with the
biggest overlaps being mental retardation and an
inability to walk upright. However, it seems each has
a unique genetic origin: Unertan syndrome originates
in chromosome 17p [2] and DES (in the Hutterite cases)
in a deletion of the VLDLR gene at 9p24. [3,4]

Study [2] examines the quadrupedals in the news report
above and mentions their similarity to the Hutterite
cases in [1]. Other common symptoms of the two
syndromes include ataxia, intensional tremor,
strabismus, and dysarthria. So a curious finding in my
reading is that sometimes the same genetic defect
manifests in individuals with few common symptoms,
while in other cases like here different genetic
defects can share almost all the same symptoms.

Study [1] notes that the 11 Hutterite children used
four-wheel strollers to maintain an upright position
till ages 3 to 15 (the abstract says supported walking
occurred up to age 21, but the full study does not
cite that instance and delimits stroller-use to a
maximum of age 15). But in the case of the Kurdish
quadrupedals now in the news, the authors of [5] were
told by a local doctor that "so far as he could tell
there had never been any attempt at physiotherapy" to
help the children learn to walk, and of course they
just kept crawling. That suggests the possibility that
the Hutterites learned to walk because they were given
upright support while the Kurds never learned because
they were not.

But my bottom line regarding the "reverse evolution"
claim is still that apes and monkeys are quadrupedal
because their hind-limbs are not suited to sustained
upright walking, whereas the Kurdish folks are
quadrupedal because a neurological impairment and
circumstance prevented them from achieving their
potential. So their quadrupedality and that of apes
originate from different causes. The Kurds also had
other symptoms like ataxia, intensional tremor,
strabismus, and dysarthria that differ from the
physical state of apes indicating that one of their
many symptoms just happens to look ape-like.

Btw, the "reverse evolution" story seems to be
devolving into an ugly battle:


09-03-2006, 03:05:05
Dophins haven't evolved completely into fish either, but they're still the most advanced species on the planet.

Provost Harrison
09-03-2006, 09:20:12
That'll be why they're not posting on the internet then :p